Complete Guide to Collecting Bearbrick Figures
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. What are Bearbrick figures?
  2. History of Bearbrick
  3. Types of Bearbrick figures
  4. How to start your Bearbrick collection
  5. Where to buy Bearbrick figures
  6. How to determine the value of a Bearbrick figure
  7. How to care for and display your Bearbrick collection
  8. How to avoid fake Bearbrick figures
  9. Bearbrick community and events
  10. Most collectible Bearbrick figures

Whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting to explore the exciting world of designer toys, you can't overlook the global phenomenon that is Bearbrick. This iconic figure has made waves in the toy collector's world and has become a staple in pop culture. This comprehensive guide will take you through everything you need to know about Bearbrick figures, from their history and types to starting your own collection and even how to avoid counterfeits. So, let's take a step into the colorful world of Bearbrick figures together!

What are Bearbrick figures?

Bearbrick figures, also known as Be@rbrick, are collectible toy figures produced by the Japanese company Medicom Toy Incorporated. These figures are a modern embodiment of traditional Japanese Kokeshi dolls, with a pop culture twist. They're characterized by their bear-like design, hence the name "Bearbrick."

Each Bearbrick figure stands at 7 centimeters tall, maintaining a consistent block-like body shape across all releases. The design is simple, yet charming: a bear with a potbelly, round ears, and arms and legs that you can move. But what truly sets each Bearbrick figure apart is its unique design and color scheme. The body of a Bearbrick figure serves as a canvas for endless creativity, featuring everything from simple patterns to intricate artwork, and collaborations with artists, brands, and celebrities.

Collecting Bearbrick figures is much like collecting pieces of art. Each Bearbrick figure is a masterpiece in its own right, which makes them a favorite among toy collectors and art enthusiasts alike. Whether you're drawn to their artistic value, their cultural significance, or simply their cute design, Bearbrick figures offer a rewarding and fascinating hobby.

Now that we've covered what Bearbrick figures are, let's delve deeper into their roots and discover the history of these captivating toys.

History of Bearbrick

The Bearbrick journey began back in 2001, when Medicom Toy introduced the first Bearbrick figures to the world. It was an instant hit, capturing the hearts of toy enthusiasts and art lovers across the globe. The Bearbrick's unique blend of contemporary art and toy culture made it stand out in the crowd.

Initially, Bearbrick figures were given out as promotional items at a World Character Convention in Tokyo. Little did anyone know that these simple, bear-shaped figures would become a global sensation. The first Bearbrick figures were blank, but soon they started featuring designs from popular artists and brands.

Over the years, Bearbrick has collaborated with a wide array of artists, designers, and brands to create limited edition figures. These collaborations have included heavyweights like Nike, Chanel, and Disney, as well as renowned artists like KAWS and Banksy. These special edition Bearbrick figures have not only increased the brand's popularity but have also added a unique value to each figure.

Today, Bearbrick figures have become a staple in the world of designer toys. They've transcended the realm of toys to become a form of contemporary art, coveted by collectors and art enthusiasts worldwide. With new designs and collaborations constantly on the horizon, the Bearbrick phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down.

Now that we know where Bearbrick figures come from, let's explore the different types of these fascinating figures.

Types of Bearbrick figures

One of the most enticing aspects of collecting Bearbrick figures is the sheer variety. Each figure is unique, offering collectors a world of options to explore. Here's a quick rundown of the different types of Bearbrick figures you might come across:

Basic Bearbrick Figures: These are the original, no-frills Bearbrick figures. They're usually monochromatic and lack any special designs or branding. But don't let their simplicity fool you—these basic figures are the foundation of any respectable Bearbrick collection.

Pattern Bearbrick Figures: Pattern Bearbrick figures showcase intricate designs and patterns, making them a visual treat. Whether it's polka dots, stripes, or even houndstooth, these figures are a testament to the creativity of the Bearbrick design team.

Artist Bearbrick Figures: These figures are the result of collaborations with famous artists and designers. Each figure is a canvas that reflects the unique style of the artist it represents. If you're a fan of contemporary art, these figures are just the ticket.

Corporate Bearbrick Figures: Corporate Bearbrick figures are born out of partnerships with big-name brands. Imagine owning a Bearbrick figure adorned with the iconic Nike swoosh or the playful Disney characters. These figures are a fun way to show off your brand loyalty.

Horror Bearbrick Figures: For those who like a dash of horror, these figures are inspired by famous scary movies and characters. From Frankenstein to Freddy Krueger, these spooky figures add a thrilling touch to any Bearbrick collection.

These are just a few examples of the types of Bearbrick figures you can collect. Each type offers its own unique charm, ensuring there's a Bearbrick figure for every taste and preference. Next, let's talk about how you can start your very own Bearbrick collection.

How to start your Bearbrick collection

Starting a Bearbrick collection may seem daunting, but it's simpler than you might think. Here are some straightforward steps you can take to jumpstart your Bearbrick journey:

Decide on Your Budget: Bearbrick figures can range from affordable to quite pricey, especially for limited editions or collaborations. Knowing your budget ahead of time will help narrow down your choices and prevent overspending.

Choose Your Favorites: With the variety of Bearbrick figures available, it can be hard to decide which ones to collect. Do you prefer the simplicity of Basic Bearbrick figures, or are you drawn to Artist or Corporate Bearbricks? Take some time to research and decide which types appeal to you the most.

Start Small: It's easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of Bearbrick figures out there. Starting with a smaller collection can make the process less daunting and more manageable. As you get more comfortable, you can gradually expand your collection.

Buy Wisely: Not all Bearbrick figures are created equal. Some might increase in value over time, while others might not. It's important to buy figures you truly love, but also keep an eye out for those that could become valuable in the future.

Remember, the goal of collecting Bearbrick figures isn't just about owning as many as possible. It's about finding joy in each figure and appreciating the artistry and creativity that goes into creating them. Happy collecting!

Where to buy Bearbrick figures

So, you've decided to start a Bearbrick collection. But where do you buy these unique figures? Here are some reliable places to find Bearbrick figures:

Retail Stores: Look for stores that sell designer toys. In these places, you're likely to find a variety of Bearbrick figures. You can enjoy the thrill of seeing the figures in person and making your selection.

Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay and Amazon often have a wide range of Bearbrick figures for sale. But be careful — it's also easier to stumble upon fakes on these platforms. Always check the seller's ratings and reviews before making a purchase.

Specialty Websites: Websites dedicated to selling designer toys, like Kidrobot or Playhouse, usually carry a selection of Bearbrick figures. These sites often have a mix of basic, artist, and corporate series.

Toy Shows and Conventions: Events like the New York Toy Fair or the San Diego Comic-Con often have exclusive Bearbrick releases. Plus, attending these events can be a great way to connect with other collectors.

Remember, wherever you choose to buy your Bearbrick figures, always make sure you're purchasing from a reputable source. This will help ensure that you're getting genuine figures and not fakes.

How to determine the value of a Bearbrick figure

Once you've started buying Bearbrick figures, you might start wondering: "What's the value of my figure?"

First, let's get one thing clear: the value of a Bearbrick figure isn't fixed. It can change based on a couple of factors. Let's break them down:

Condition: Just like with any collectible, the condition of your Bearbrick figure makes a big difference. Mint-condition figures — that's figures in perfect condition, still in their original packaging — will usually be worth more than figures with scratches, scuffs, or other signs of wear.

Rarity: Not all Bearbrick figures are created equal. Some are mass-produced, while others are limited edition. The rarer the figure, the more valuable it is likely to be.

Series: Bearbrick figures belong to different series, each with its own unique characteristics. Figures from certain series, such as the Artist or Horror series, might be more valuable than others.

Age: Older Bearbrick figures, especially those from the early years of production, can be more valuable than newer ones. But remember: age isn't everything. Condition and rarity are often more important.

So how can you find out the value of your Bearbrick figure? One way is to look at what similar figures have sold for on online marketplaces. You can also check price guides or ask other collectors in the Bearbrick community for their opinions. But remember: at the end of the day, your Bearbrick figure is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

How to care for and display your Bearbrick collection

Now that you've started your Bearbrick collection, you're probably wondering how to take care of these cute little figures. Fret not, as caring for your Bearbrick figures isn't as hard as it might seem. Let's walk through some easy steps:

Cleaning: To keep your Bearbrick figures shiny and new, regular cleaning is a must. Use a soft, dry cloth to gently wipe off any dust. For stubborn stains, a little bit of mild soap and warm water will do the trick. Just make sure to dry your figures thoroughly afterwards to prevent any water damage.

Storage: If you're not displaying your Bearbrick figures, it's best to keep them in their original packaging. This not only protects them from dust and damage, but also helps retain their value. Remember, mint-condition figures are usually worth more!

Display: Displaying your Bearbrick figures can be a fun way to show off your collection. Consider getting a display case or shelf to keep your figures organized and dust-free. Plus, arranging your figures by series, color, or size can make your display even more eye-catching.

Handling: While Bearbrick figures are meant to be handled, it's important to do so with care. Avoid touching your figures with dirty or oily hands, as this can cause stains or damage the paint. And remember, even though they might look like toys, they're not meant to be played with rough!

And there you have it – a simple guide to taking care of your Bearbrick figures. Remember, the better you take care of your collection, the longer it will last and retain its value. Happy collecting!

How to avoid fake Bearbrick figures

Just like any popular collectible, Bearbrick figures are not immune to counterfeits. You may come across fake Bearbrick figures that look almost like the real deal. But don't worry, there are ways to ensure you're adding genuine pieces to your collection.

Price Too Good To Be True: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Real Bearbrick figures can be quite pricey, especially the rare ones. If you see a figure going for a fraction of its usual price, it's likely a fake.

Check The Packaging: Genuine Bearbrick figures come in distinct packaging, complete with the company logo and other identifying details. Counterfeit figures often skimp on packaging quality. So, if the box feels flimsy or lacks the usual branding, be wary.

Quality and Detail: Bearbrick figures are known for their high quality and detailed designs. If the figure has rough edges, uneven paint, or lacks detail, it's likely not a genuine Bearbrick.

Purchase From Reputable Sellers: One of the best ways to ensure you're buying genuine Bearbrick figures is to purchase from reputable sellers. These sellers value their reputation and often provide authenticity guarantees.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid the disappointment of buying a fake and ensure that your Bearbrick collection is 100% authentic. After all, collecting Bearbrick figures is all about the joy of owning these unique and artistic pieces, and nothing beats the real deal!

Bearbrick community and events

One of the most enriching aspects of collecting Bearbrick figures is the vibrant community that surrounds it. Fellow collectors and enthusiasts are always ready to share their knowledge, swap figures, and simply appreciate the artistry of Bearbrick figures together. There are also many events that bring the Bearbrick community together.

Bearbrick Conventions: There are numerous conventions every year where Bearbrick collectors gather to showcase their collections, trade figures, and even get their hands on exclusive releases. These conventions are not just about buying and selling—it's where you get to meet like-minded enthusiasts and learn from each other.

Online Forums and Social Media Groups: The internet is a treasure trove when it comes to connecting with other Bearbrick enthusiasts. There are countless forums and social media groups where you can discuss everything Bearbrick, from the latest releases to tips on caring for your figures. These platforms are also a great way to stay updated on upcoming Bearbrick events.

Store Events: Retailers that sell Bearbrick figures often host events, such as release parties for new figures. These events are a great opportunity to meet other local collectors and get your hands on the latest additions to the Bearbrick family.

Being a part of the Bearbrick community is just as fun and rewarding as collecting the figures themselves. So, go ahead and dive into the world of Bearbrick—you'll be glad you did!

Most collectible Bearbrick figures

As a collector, you might be curious: which Bearbrick figures are the most sought-after? Let's take a look at some of the most collectible figures in the Bearbrick universe.

The Chanel Bearbrick: Yes, you read that right. Fashion powerhouse Chanel partnered with Bearbrick to create a limited edition figure. It's one of the rarest and most coveted figures out there—not unlike a Chanel handbag.

The Karimoku Wooden Bearbrick: This Bearbrick is made entirely of wood and handcrafted by Karimoku, a renowned Japanese woodwork company. The craftsmanship that goes into each figure is truly remarkable, making these Bearbrick figures highly collectible.

The KAWS Dissected Bearbrick: This figure is a collaboration between Bearbrick and famous artist KAWS. It features KAWS's signature "dissected" design, revealing the figure's colorful inner workings. With its unique design and limited availability, this Bearbrick is a must-have for any serious collector.

The Daft Punk Bearbrick Set: This set features two figures designed after the iconic electronic duo Daft Punk. Complete with their signature helmets and outfits, these Bearbrick figures are a hit among music and art toy enthusiasts alike.

While these are some of the most collectible Bearbrick figures, remember that the joy of collecting comes from finding the figures that you personally love and connect with. So, whether it's a rare limited edition or a common series figure, the best Bearbrick for you is the one that makes you smile.

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